Quinta dos Pesos - Carcavelos 1997
Carcavelos is the smallest wine appellation in Portugal, one of the country's great Vinhos Generosos and perhaps its rarest wine. Lying west of Lisbon and stretching along the Targus estuary towards the Atlantic, its vineyards were nearly consumed by suburban development during the late 20th century. Today, only 25 protected hectares remain. Carcavelos was considered one of Portugal's most famous fortified wines — on par with Porto, Madeira and Moscatel de Setúball.
The wines of Quinta dos Pesos offer a glimpse into the long history of Carcavelos. Situated in the village of Caparide, west of Lisbon, the estate was acquired by Manoel de Boullosa in 1963 and its 3.5 hectares of vineyards were painstakingly restored over the course of the next twenty years. In keeping with tradition, a mixture of white (Arinto, Gallego Dourado, Ratinho, Rabo do Ovelha) and red grapes (João Santarem, Espadeiro Tinto) were co-fermented and aged in cask for many years with only a few vintages being released. Winemaking operations ceased in 2005 because of M. Bullosa's untimely passing. The remaining wines continued their long slumber in barrel until 2018, when they were blended and bottled. The results are revelatory and confirm the high esteem afforded Carcavelos over centuries.